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The ACA Oct. 1 employee notification deadline is fast approaching!

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Custom CommunicationsIn July, the federal government postponed until 2015 the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) mandate requiring that employers with 50 or more full-time employees offer a minimum level of health care coverage to their workers – or pay penalties. But this postponement did not relieve employers of their responsibility, under the ACA, to notify employees about the health care exchanges that are being established for individuals and small businesses to purchase health care coverage with an effective date of January 1, 2014. All businesses that must comply with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) – regardless of the size of their employee population – are required to provide this notice.

What is your responsibility under the ACA?

You must use first-class mail or email to provide a notice to each of your employees – regardless of their employment status (full- or part-time) or their plan enrollment status – by October 1, 2013. Your notice must be written in easy-to-understand language and provided free of charge. After October 1, 2013, you must provide new hires with this notice within 14 days of their employment start date.

What do you need to include in this notice?

The ACA requires you to include three important pieces of information in your employee notice:

  • That state or federal health insurance exchanges have been established.
  • That if your plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60%, then the employee may qualify to receive a federal premium tax credit if he or she purchases a qualified health plan through an exchange.
  • That if your employee purchases a qualified health plan through an exchange, then he or she may lose the employer contribution to the employer-provided medical plan (if available) – and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.

You can easily provide this notice…

The Department of Labor has made it easy for employers to comply with this notification requirement by offering model notices for employers to use – so they don’t have to create their own communications. Simply choose the model notice that is right for you, based on whether or not you offer your employees health insurance:

These notices are available in Microsoft® Word format – in both English and Spanish. Simply choose the notice that’s right for your employees and make sure you distribute them so that your employees receive them by the October 1 deadline.

There are a lot of moving parts to health care reform, but complying with the upcoming October 1 employee notification requirement is easier than you may think!